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Economic Data

Welcome to the ‘Economic Data’ section of Insight DIY, which includes a summary of all of the key UK economic indicators that you may need to know within your business. Each of these key indicators are updated as and when they are released by their various sources and provide a really valuable addition to any monthly report or business overview.

UK Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPIH image

Main points:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.0% in December 2018.
  • The largest downward contribution to the change in the 12-month rate came from electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices overall falling between December 2018 and January 2019 compared with price rises the same time a year ago.
  • These downward effects were partially offset by air fares, with prices falling between December 2018 and January 2019 by less than a year ago.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.1% in December 2018.

 

 

 

Release Date: 13th February 2019
Next Release: 20th March 2019

Price indices, percentage changes and weights for the different measures of consumer price inflation. 

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Producer Price Inflation (PPI)

Producer Price Index

Main points:  

  • The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was 2.1% on the year to January 2019, down from 2.4% in December 2018.

  • The growth rate of prices for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process slowed to 2.9% on the year to January 2019, down from 3.2% in December 2018.

  • Petroleum products and crude oil provided the largest downward contribution to the change in the annual rate of output and input inflation respectively.

  • Crude oil prices fell by 6.9% on the year to January 2019, the largest annual decrease since June 2016.

 

 

 

Release Date: 13th February 2019
Next Release: 20th March 2019

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

- UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.2% between Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2018 and Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018; the quarterly path of GDP through 2018 remains unrevised

- In the output approach to measuring GDP, growth in the latest quarter was driven by professional, scientific, administration and support services within the services sector, while production and construction both contributed negatively to GDP growth.

- In the expenditure approach to measuring GDP, private consumption and government consumption contributed positively, while gross capital formation and net trade contributed negatively to GDP growth.

- Business investment decreased by 1.4% in Quarter 4 2018, the fourth consecutive quarter in which there has been a decrease in growth.

- GDP growth was estimated to have slowed to 1.4% between 2017 and 2018, the weakest it has been since 2009.

Release Date: 11th February 2019
Next Release Date: 29th March 2019

Preliminary, second and final estimates of GDP released over a quarter as more data becomes available. The final estimate is published in the Quarterly National Accounts. GDP is the main measure of UK economic growth based on the value of goods and services produced during a given period.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Bank of England: Bank Rate

Bank of England logo 150 x 112.jpg

Current bank rate: 0.75%
Previous bank rate: 0.75%

Release date: 7th February 2019
Next release date: 21st March 2019

Source : Bank of England

 

 

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image

January 2019

  • In January, UK retail sales increased by 1.8% on a like-for-like basis from January 2018.
  • On a total basis, sales increased by 2.2%. 

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, BRC: 

“There was a welcome return to growth this month after December’s disappointing sales figures. But while retail discounts helped tempt cautious consumers, there is no guarantee this momentum will continue after the sales have finished. And it will not just be brick-and-mortar stores looking nervously to the future, as online sales continued to grow below the long term trend.

“Furthermore, the risk of a disruptive no deal Brexit could see these fortunes reversed. Unless the Government want to see well known brands disappearing from our high streets in 2019, they should work with their colleagues in Parliament to find a solution that avoids the shock of a no deal Brexit on 29 March and removes the risks to UK consumers.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail, KPMG: 

“Following the worst December trading performance in a decade, January brought a welcome improvement with total retail sales up 2.2 per cent. Having said that, this increase points more to British shoppers’ obsession of bagging a bargain and price inflation, rather than any real improvement, and these peaks and troughs continue to leave retailers feeling increasingly anxious.  

“The colder weather and continual discounting drove up fashion sales, whilst the increased focus indoors also boosted furniture sales. However, not all categories or players have been so fortunate, and even online growth continued to slow. 

“Eyes are naturally fixed on who the next casualty will be, but we can’t afford to overlook those excelling despite adverse conditions. Winning retailers remain attractive to investors and consumers; they are adaptive and agile, and ultimately they continue to outperform in this rapidly evolving market.”

Food & Drink sector performance, Susan Barratt, CEO, IGD: 

“Bolstered by the inclusion of New Year’s Eve in the latest figures and relatively mild weather before the recent snowfall, food and grocery sales held up reasonably well in January.

“Looking to shopper sentiment, we’re seeing polarisation in views on quality vs. cost. Whereas 14% say they will put a greater focus on quality in their food shopping this year, up from 12% in December, another 20% expect to focus more on price. This compares with 17% from the previous month.”

Release Date: 5th February 2019
Next Release Date: 4th March 2019

Source: BRC

UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 52.8 - January 2019
Previous month: 54.2 - December 2018

Key findings:

  • UK Manufacturing PMI at 52.8 in January (3-month low) 
  • Stocks of purchases rise at survey-record rate 
  • Employment falls for only the second time in past 30 months

Publication date: 1st February 2019
Next publication date: 1st March 2019

Source: Markit Economics

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 50.6 January 2019
Previous month: 52.8 December 2018

Key findings:

  • Slowest rise in business activity for ten months 
  • Commercial work remains weakest performing area 
  • Employment growth hits two-and-a-half year low

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Construction Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) is a diffusion index incorporating survey results provided by construction firms throughout the country. A reading above fifty suggests the construction sector is expanding, while a reading below fifty suggests the construction sector is in contraction. Policymakers and traders watch these surveys closely as purchasing managers usually have early access to data about their company’s performance, rather than waiting for the hard data to emerge.

Publication date: 4th February 2019
Next publication date: 4th March 2019

Source: Markit Economics

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

January Monthly Index*: 426.9 (December 2018 425.8) 
Monthly Change*: +0.3% (December -0.7%)
Annual Change: +0.1% (December +0.5%)
January Average Price: £211,966 (December £212,281) (not seasonally adjusted) 

* Seasonally adjusted figure (note that monthly % changes are revised when seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated)

Key Findings

  • Annual house price growth slows to 0.1% 
  • Modest 0.3% increase month-on-month after taking account of seasonal factors

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “Annual house price growth almost ground to a complete halt in January, with prices just 0.1% higher than the same time last year. This follows a subdued December when price growth slowed to 0.5%.

“Indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable in recent months, but forward-looking indicators had suggested some softening was likely.

“In particular, measures of consumer confidence weakened in December and surveyors reported a further fall in new buyer enquiries towards the end of 2018. While the number of properties coming onto the market also slowed, this doesn’t appear to have been enough to prevent a modest shift in the balance of demand and supply in favour of buyers in recent months. Uncertainty exerting a drag on the market “It is likely that the recent slowdown is attributable to the impact of the uncertain economic outlook on buyer sentiment, given that it has occurred against a backdrop of solid employment growth, stronger wage growth and continued low borrowing costs.

“Near term prospects will be heavily dependent on how quickly this uncertainty lifts, but ultimately the outlook for the housing market and house prices will be determined by the performance of the wider economy – especially the labour market.

“The economic outlook remains unusually uncertain. However, if the economy continues to grow at a modest pace, with the unemployment rate and borrowing costs remaining close to current levels, we would expect UK

Release Date: 31st January 2019
Next Release Date: 28th February 2019

Nationwide is the world's largest building society and one of the UK's largest mortgage providers. They have the longest unbroken run of house price data, stretching back to 1952 on a quarterly basis and 1991 on a monthly basis.  

Source: Nationwide House Price Index

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

GfK 150 x 112

Monthly Index: -14
Previous Month's Index: -14
Monthly Index Previous Year: -9
Period: January 2019

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: 

“With the Overall Index Score stuck at -14 this month, UK consumers remain in a ‘wait and see’ holding pattern in the face of political chaos in Westminster. 

"We’re feeling slightly more confident about our personal finances, thanks to the effect of strong employment, low interest and inflation rates, and rising household incomes. However, concerns about the wider economic prospects for the country continue to weigh and depress the Overall Index Score.

"We have a -39 for ‘General Economic Situation over the next 12 months’ – the lowest for more than seven years and getting close to the levels we saw at the end of 2008 and in early 2009. This is unsurprising given that consumers, companies and corporations thrive on certainty, which is in short supply just two months before the planned date for the UK’s EU-exit.

"The next few months promise to be turbulent for the consumer so will this measure for the economic outlook in the coming year drop even further?” 

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – January 2019

The Overall Index Score in January 2019 is -14, two of the five measures decreased in January, two decreased and one stayed at the same level.   

Personal Financial Situation 

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has increased one point this month to 0; this is one point higher than at the same point last year.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has increased two points to +1 this month; this is five points lower than January 2018. 

General Economic Situation 

The measure for the General Economic Situation of the country during the last 12 months has dropped four points to -35 this month; this is six points lower than January 2018.  

Expectations for the General Economic Situation over the next 12 months have decreased one point to -39; this is 15 points lower than January 2018.   

Major Purchase Index 

The Major Purchase Index stayed at the same level in January 2019 at +2; this is one point lower than January 2018.    

Savings Index 

The Savings Index has decreased two points in January to +14; this is four points higher than at this time last year.

Release Date: 24th December 2018
Next Release Date: 31st January 2019

Source: GfK

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 4.1% (September to November 2018) 

Main points (September to November 2018)

  • Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between June to August 2018 and September to November 2018, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people was little changed and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking nor available to work (economically inactive) decreased.
  • There were an estimated 32.53 million people in work, 141,000 more than for June to August 2018 and 328,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was estimated at 75.8%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%) and the highest since comparable estimates began in 1971.
  • There were an estimated 1.37 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), little changed compared with June to August 2018 but 68,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was estimated at 4.0%, it has not been lower since December 1974 to February 1975.
  • There were an estimated 8.65 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking nor available to work), 100,000 fewer than for June to August 2018 and 86,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was estimated at 21.0%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the joint-lowest estimate since comparable estimates began in 1971.
  • Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 3.3% excluding bonuses, and by 3.4% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.
  • Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 1.1% excluding bonuses, and by 1.2% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier. 

Publication date: 22nd January 2019
Next publication date: 19th February 2019

The level and rate of UK unemployment measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) using a definition of unemployment specified by the International Labour Organisation. Unemployed people as those without a job who have been actively seeking work in the past 4 weeks and are available to start work in the next 2 weeks. It also includes those who are out of work but have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next 2 weeks.

Source: Office for National Statistics

ONS UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Main points:

  • In the three months to December 2018, estimates in the quantity bought decreased by 0.2% with declines across all main sectors except fuel.
  • When compared with the previous month, the quantity bought in December 2018 decreased by 0.9%, as all sectors except food stores and fuel stores declined on the month.

  • Looking at annual growth rates, the whole of 2018 increased by 2.7% in the quantity bought; an annual slowdown in comparison with the peak of 4.7% experienced in 2016.

  • In December 2018, online retailing accounted for 20% of total retailing, with an overall growth of 13.9% when compared with the same month a year earlier.

Period: December 2018

Released: 18th January 2019
Next Release Date: 15th February 2019

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the four-week period 28 October 2018 to 24 November 2018.

Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.

Source: Office for National Statistics

 

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC logo 150 x 112

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2018): 43,745 
Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2017): 40,858
Percentage Change: +7%.

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2018): 33,104
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2017): 31,146
Percentage Change: +6%

Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2018): 10,641
Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2017): 9,712
Percentage Change: +10%

Commenting on the November figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said

“As we reach the end of the year it is reassuring to see continued strong new home registration numbers, with growth across the majority of the UK.

“Looking ahead to 2019, NHBC will continue to support the country’s house-building industry to deliver more, high quality new homes for consumers.”

Release Date: 19th December 2018
Next Release: February 2019 

Source: NHBC

NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK and its registration statistics are a lead indicator for the new homes market.

UK Population Figures

UK Census

UK population: 66,040,229 (30th June 2017 estimate)
UK population: 65,648,100 (mid 2016 estimates)
Percentage change: +0.6%

2016 Data:

Male: 32.4 million (49.3%)
Female: 33.0 million (50.7%)

Estimated population of England: 55,268,100 (84.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Scotland: 5,404,700 (8.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Wales: 3,113,200 (4.7% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Northern Ireland: 1,862,100 (2.8% of the UK’s population)

Mid-year population estimates relate to the usually resident population. They account for long-term international migrants (people who change their country of usual residence for a period of 12 months or more) but do not account for short-term migrants (people who come to or leave the country for a period of less than 12 months). This approach is consistent with the standard UN definition for population estimates which is based upon the concept of usual residence and includes people who reside, or intend to reside, in the country for at least twelve months, whatever their nationality.

Data last updated: 28th June 2018

Next Update: June 2019

Source: ONS

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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